Political morality at a low ebb

Political morality at a low ebb
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Highlights

The celebrations pertaining to 75 years of India’s Independence have just concluded.

The celebrations pertaining to 75 years of India's Independence have just concluded. Leaders lectured about the greatness of Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh and all those who sacrificed their lives for attaining Independence so that our country can govern itself and reach new heights. Central and state governments organised several functions such as mass singing of National Anthem etc., and eulogised how the country has marched forward since 1947.

Undoubtedly, post-independence the country has been growing by leaps and bounds in terms of GDP, growth in industries, improvement in infrastructural facilities, agriculture, science and technology, innovation, space technology, research and what not.

All this is certainly a welcome move and gift of Independence. But for the past three decades, political degradation too started growing rapidly and for the last one or one-and-a-half decades it has been taking a dangerous turn.

Now a situation has arisen where political parties are not able to show the kind of political maturity that is required. It is a sad commentary that they resort to political intolerance and feel that only they and their party should occupy entire political space. This tendency has been growing among both regional and national parties.

What is worse is that even religion and God are being used as weapons to beat the opponents. Raking religious feelings, regional sentiments and creating communal disturbance has emerged as new style of politics. If this attitude does not change, the political atmosphere will become murkier as we move closure towards next elections. If recent political developments in various states, whether it be the Maharashtra politics where Shiv Sena had to go or the break-up between Nitish and BJP in Bihar, the IT raids on Delhi Dy Chief Minister, the trouble that Telangana has been witnessing since Monday night, are only teasers if one has to use filmy language. More political dramas will unfold as we move closer to general elections.

Political rivalry between different parties is not new. But to a great extent they used to maintain a high level of dignity and decorum in politics. They seriously used to differ with each other on policies, but streets were not used to settle political scores the way it is being done now. Political vendetta has been more visible from mid-1980s. From early 1990s, Parliament and respective state Assemblies which used to be the venue for in-depth discussions started witnessing more of saber rattling.

Though the emergence of regional parties did help faster development of states till second-half of 1990s, things started deteriorating thereafter. Regional parties, too, developed an autocratic style of functioning. The line of control (LoC) between Centre-State relations started disappearing and a stage has come where states started saying that Centre is a myth. Centre has been resorting to arm-twisting if the regional parties are unfriendly. Unless such tendencies change there is no point delivering lectures about the sacrifices of great leaders who fought for Independence. The most unfortunate thing is that even celebrations like 75 years of Independence were used as platforms to lash out at political opponents.

Materialistic development alone cannot be called as development. Attitudinal change is equally important.

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